New Delhi:

The total number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 49,263, with 1,323 people dead.A record 2,644 new cases detected in the last 24 hours. 83 coronavirus-linked deaths were reported in 24 hours.


Recoveries from Covid-19 infection has also crossed 10,600.


Niti Aayog member V K Paul said continuous rise in number of people testing positive for coronavirus is expected to stabilise anytime soon.


He also said the rationale behind the government’s decision to extend the lockdown by two more weeks after May 3 is to consolidate the gains of the first and second phase of restrictions.

In an interview to PTI, Paul said sudden spurt in number of coronavirus cases is still amenable to containment strategy.

“The rationale (behind extending lockdown till May 17) is that the gains of lockdown need to be consolidated in the country…Real goals of lockdown was to suppress the chain of transmission of the virus. So, we will lose that, if we abruptly end it,” he said.


Replying to a question that whether India has slipped into community transmission stage, he said, “Essentially, we think it (continuous rise in coronavirus cases) is still amenable to containment strategy”.


He also noted that India is nowhere close to the kind of escalation of coronavirus cases that it witnessed during the pre-lockdown phase.


“In the pre-lockdown stage, we were doubling our number of cases in every five days. Before that even at every 3 days. Now, we are doubling in 11-12 days.


“So, overall the rate of spread has diminished but yes the number still has not stabilised. But we expect it to stabilise anytime soon,” the Niti Aayog member said.


Maharashtra alone reported 12,296 coronavirus cases, while its death toll also rose to 521. 790 new coronavirus cases were reported as of 8:00 AM on May 3 in Maharashtra.Gujarat reported 5,054 cases with 262 covid-19 related deaths.The other states that have seen the most number of cases include Delhi (4122), Tamil Nadu (2757), Rajasthan (2770), Madhya Pradesh (2846), Uttar Pradesh (2487) and Telangana (1063).


Globally, 3,484,202 people have been infected by coronavirus so far, and the total number of deaths from the disease stands at 244,780. Nations hit with most coronavirus cases at present are the US (1,131,030 ) Spain (242,988), Italy (207,428), UK (177,454), France (167,346) and Germany (164,077).


Meanwhile,in a significant milestone in its fight against the novel Coronavirus,India has completed over 1 million Covid-19 RT-PCR tests (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction).According to ICMR, a total of 1046450 samples have been tested as on 03 May 2020, 9 AM IST.RT-PCR is the only diagnostic test for Covid-19 approved by the World Health Organization.India is current carrying out an average of 75,000 tests per day at 419 approved laboratories across the country.


According to health ministry officials, India will be conducting 100,000 tests a day beginning next week. This signifies a quantum leap in the testing capacity as India was barely conducting 5000 tests a day in April 1.


Till March 31, as many as 47,852 samples were tested while till April 30, a total of 9,02,654 samples were tested for the novel coronavirus infection, an ICMR official said.


Among the 304 government labs, 254 use Real-Time RT PCR systems, 42 use TrueNat machines, and use Gene-Xpert cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test (CBNAAT) for Covid-19.


Union Health Ministry and ICMR worked closely with 14 mentor institutions including AIIMS, PGI Chandigarh, CMC Vellore, JIPMER Puducherry, SGPIMS Lucknow, AIIMS Bhubaneshwar, which trained othermedical colleges, labs and hospitals in performing tests.


The Centre has been working with states tirelessly to ensure required reagents are supplied to testing labs in timely and calibrated fashion, enabling diversion of reagents to hotspots as needed.


The central government has taken on the responsibility of assisting the state governments with testing kits, etc., and they are also free to procure, and some of the state governments are also trying to procure their supplies, the government said on Friday.


The Department of Health Research has assessed requirement of manual RT-PCR kits.


As on Friday, material for about 16.4 lakh tests have been received. Against demand of 35 lakhs combined RT-PCR kits, more than 21 lakh kits have been ordered out of which orders for 2 lakh kits are awarded to the domestic manufacturers. Close to 14 lakh kits have already been received.